In 1962, an 11-year old from Griffin, Georgia, named Ann Mitchell spent her first summer at Nakanawa. Ann returned as a canoeing counselor the summer of 1969, the 50th anniversary of Camp Nakanawa. After graduating from Converse College with a B.A. degree in Art History, she returned to Nakanawa – this time as a riding counselor.
Pepe Perron, from Gainesville, Georgia, and a graduate of Wofford College with a B.A. in History, came for a visit that summer and received his first introduction to Nakanawa. Following their marriage in April of 1973, they returned for Family Reunions at camp each August for the next eight years. In 1975, Ann returned as head riding counselor and remained for the next five summers. At this time, Pepe was employed with his family’s poultry business, while Ann taught art in an elementary school in Gainesville.
In 1980, Ann was head counselor in Senior Camp. At the end of that session, Mitch announced her plan to retire and “turn the keys of Nakanawa over to Ann and Pepe.” They purchased camp from Mitch and began their era as directors.
Many subtle changes and major improvements have occurred over the past summers. The natural beauty of the “1,000 acres” has been enhanced with the planting of numerous varieties of day lilies. Old traditions have been restored and new ones added, and a focus on fun prevails along with the continued emphasis on values and principles.
Pepe has brought to camp a remarkable insight into people, and expertise in business management, and scores of innovative ideas for the physical plant, Ann’s familiarity with the camp family, past and present, her dedication to the traditions of Nakanawa, and her love of natural beauty are invaluable.
Clearly, Ann and Pepe, with their unique combination of talents and abilities, provide loving and capable leadership for camp. Under their direction, Nakanawa continues to be the foundation for hundreds of campers; and with thier guidance, the future of Nakanawa is secure.